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Designing Creative Conferences: Lessons from C2
Two guys walk into a conference. Not any two guys, Creative Executives from Cirque du Soleil and Sid Lee (a leading creative agency).
1. Consumer First Approach
2. Borrow ideas from different industries
3. Design environments to stimulate creativity
Some of the Lab designs include the ball pit (self-explanatory), the nets or sky lab (where guests are suspended in the air), the cloud (guests are surrounded by a thick fog) and the dark room (a pitch-black room).
By hosting facilitated workshops within a unique environment, the team at C2 encourages attendees to open their minds to new ideas, act more confident when expressing their own thoughts and ultimately, have fun.
Once you inject the fun element, people often resort back to their childhood and find themselves thinking more creatively – free of conformity.
Martin says that he’s yet to see anyone dive into the ball pit and not smile – even when they then start discussing complex business strategy.
Martin points out that by challenging attendees to think about business objectives in either a fun environment or a space that challenges them (e.g. being suspended up high or wandering around in the dark), it allows them to open their minds to being more creative.
Again, not every conference or meeting has the budget or ability to rig up a workshop in the sky, but the dark room workshop can be replicated anywhere. Close the door, block out the light and hey presto you have a unique and challenging environment for your next team brainstorming session.
By removing sight, you can open up your mind to creative solutions, be more confident in expressing your own views and your listening skills will be amplified to a new level.
Given the nature of these sorts of workshop sessions, Martin explains that it’s important to always have a facilitator involved to avoid going off track from the intended purpose.
4. Stimulate conversations
5. Embrace flexibility
*All images courtesy of C2. Individual photographers credited.
Header image © Felix Renaud